Self-Preservation: A Black Woman’s Devotion To Her Personal Freedom

Preserve (verb): maintain (something) in its original or existing state; to keep alive, intact, or free from decay; maintain;  to keep safe from injury, harm, or destruction protect;

We don’t come into this world alone. We are born we are born in to a family, tribe, or a community. Somehow we are born into a place where people who will be significant (or not so significant) to our lives that pre-existed or comes along the way. Depending on the connection or tie the individual(s) have to you, what role they play. What do they teach you? How do they influence you? How do they view you? Do they value you? Do they see you worthy of safe keeping and protection? These questions center around the preservation you may receive from others. How can people impact your preservation or is there a lack there of.? For many, the people that surrounds them can be a major factor in the success or failure of an individual’s preservation. Some can help mold you, and help you grow. Some can help build you or help destroy. But ultimately who’s responsibility is it to maintain YOU?

The truth is, many will eventually learn that the road is traveled alone. Your journey, begins at birth and ends at ascension or death. Sometimes you desire to find many friends, or have a big family to surround you. However, the many are not as fortunate. I remember living so naive. As a young girl, I always thought that if you are kind, it was guaranteed to be returned. Treat people how you want to be treated right? Well some don’t receive that memo. Or at least honor it. However, I learned not to become reliant on others to give me the love, respect, honor, and protection I needed. Though I personally feel as a woman (especially a black woman), that it should be a requirement to preserve future generations;  I am also smart enough that it may not be a value that is practiced by others. I learned a long time ago, that most of the things I want in life is self driven. Most of the growth or learning I want to obtain is self motivated. Most of the needs I have in my life are self-defined. Most of who I believe myself to be is self-identified. Though I am surrounded by many in my life I will say that I love and care about, at the end of the day the responsibility of my life is mine. Mine to keep, and mine to preserve.

Many religions and spiritual teaches us that karma is always in our favor. If you do good, you receive good. If you try your best to do right, by others, they will do right by you. Many life lessons have taught me that isn’t the case. They never prepare you to deal with the harsh reality of EXPERIENCE. Experience can humble you, teach you, mold you, and harm you. When you begin to suffer losses or experience trauma (as I have spoken about in many blogs already, you soon realize that many don’t have the clarity, wisdom, or insight to deal with what they are faced. The world is not a Utopia. The world is a jungle, and experiences can be harm. Experience can dictate he measures of preservation you need to enact to maintain yourself. When experience becomes to overwhelming to face,  what do you do? Conform to the harsh reality or stay true to yourself? If you choose to stay true, how do you survive the energy of hate, greed, envy, and narcissism that can resist against your growth?

The only way I have found this this to be possible is becoming reliant on your own self preservation. Sometimes I have learned, that will be the only thing you have to rely on throughout Life. What is your preservation or survival plan? Do you have one? Is your plan giving you self-sufficiency or co-dependency? This is especially paramount for a black woman. Many issues that black women face are not liable to receive empathy, support, or care. Also black women also end up on the bottom of the list when it comes to resources. I have learned as a black girl up until today, the many times I have experience abuse or mistreatment, I would face much resistance to receive proper care. I was often dismissed and ignored. If my issues were too become too great, no matter how hard I tried to do better, I would be faced with the self-blame, shame, and guilt. I have recently been faced with many losses. I don’t mind taking my losses, it’s apart of life. However, many of the relationships, friendships, and such that I took losses often left me alone to face my situations without proper support from those I once trusted. I realized then that in order to take care of myself more properly, and take my self preservation more seriously.

This is a self-preservation plan I have created for myself, to assist in my own personal life experiences. I am just throwing out suggestions for those serious of becoming Boss Black Women who refuse to be sacrificed for a cause that will not benefit us or our children ultimately. I suggest getting a binder to place all items in so its all in one location and easily accessible. This is a tentative list for your own blueprint. Future entrepreneurs will need a BUSINESS PORTFOLIO. The list of course can be adjustable on a case by case, person by person scenario:

  1. Self-Defense: Your self-protection is the first priority. GET A WEAPON (guns, knives, pepper spray, taser), also suggest self-defense classes.

  2. GET INSURANCE POLICES ON EVERYTHING (Medical/Dental, Car, Rental/home, Life)

  3. When moving to a new location (Research: job market, education, cost of living, crime stats, local government policies, medium income rate, minimum wage, property value)

  4. Register to Vote: supporting local, state, and federal policies shapes and dictates resources that could be available to you if you need assistance. I also suggest signing up for sites that creates petition to help fight against injustices, and unfair policy practices.

  5. Create a support network tree of all your supporters and what how they can support you.

  6. Financial Independence/Freedom:

    • Debt elimination plan

    • Monthly Budget plan

    • Keep receipts of all purchases, especially major purchases.

    • Savings Plan

    • Retirement Plan

  7. Self- Care practices:

    • Mental health (therapy, and support groups)

    • Spiritual health (yoga/meditation, spritual circle/group, private rituals)

    • Fitness and Wellness

    • Hobbies and activities (They have classes for damn near everything)

    • Leisure and Vacation

  8. Create a parenting plan:

    • Keep all court documents, and agreements made by all adult caregivers.

    • A signed agreement made in regards to the expectations for the child(ren) and the guardians.

  9.  Business Portfolio:

    • LLC your name and Business(es)

    • Safe keep all important documentations, budgets, and business plans.

    • Also keep in mind copyright protections, patents, and trademarks

  10.  Home security (alarm, camera, fire detector, extinguisher, carbon monoxide detector).

  11. Business Networking opportunities (look for/list local clubs, sisterhoods, Business clubs, gun clubs, etc)

  12. Legal Protection

    • Get a Lawyer (Many states have Pro Bono Networks as well)

    • Keep record of any threats or defaming behavior

    • Apply for restraining orders from harmful individuals

    • Keep a list of reporting agencies

  13. VOLUNTEER (Keep interaction with local community so you are aware of what’s going on around you, good karma)

  14. Create a POTENTIAL PARTNER QUALITY LIST (Do NOT waver on the man you DESIRE to ADD to your LIFE)

  15. Create a Safety and Emergency plan (budget plan, List of resources, support tree activation, list of safe locations, etc.)

  16. Create a LEGACY PLAN: (3-5 year goals, 5-10 year goals, parenting plan, list of assets to pass down, living will, retirement plan)

Understand that sometimes when you are a woman who is heavily relied on (whether good or bad)hat this can cause resistance from those who can no longer benefit from you. Sometimes self preservation may require some isolation, detachments, and changes that those around us may not be able to keep up with or adjust to. Many women will find themselves in positions of ultimatums to fight for her personal rights, freedom, or independence. If you find yourself in this situation (some situations can be severe and can lead to harm), it will take strength and courage to: Choose Yourself. Choose yourself anyway. I wish every black women on a path to her own personal freedom the best on Her Journey.

***Feature Photo Artist Unknown***

© Tanisha R. Coleman and Visions Of A Black Herstorian, LLC 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Tanisha R. Coleman and Visions Of A Black Herstorian, LLC with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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